At first listen, experimental tape imprints Opal Tapes and 1080p seem to be in aesthetic opposition: the former favors industrial sludge, while the latter is partial to torrents of gloss-drenched digitalia. But it turns out that the labels have a mutual interest in distortion and undermining house and techno’s common tropes. Italian producer Yari Malaspina sits somewhere between the Canadian (1080p) and British (Opal Tapes) projects. His debut EP as OOBE explored haunted, gritty techno on Opal Tapes in 2013, and his return on 1080p next week, Digitalsea, explores a similarly estranged relationship to club music through more synthetic means. Hearing the cassette album in full, which you can do via the player above, illuminates its subtleties. Between squelchy cuts like the Actress-indebted “Purplehaze” and the dilapidated almost-arpeggios on “166.166.166” lie moments of touching ambiance.
Published October 30, 2014. Words by EB Team.